(December 27, 1822 – September 28, 1895)

Despite lacking a medical license or any training in medicine, Louis Pasteur revolutionized medicine in a way that no one envisaged. The sterilization method he devised, known as pasteurization, saved uncountable lives by reducing infections in an era when antibiotics were unknown. It also prolonged the shelf-lives of perishable foods (such as milk and beverages). This same pasteurization, alongside John Tyndall’s tyndallization, helped debunk the age-long myths surrounding the Theory of Spontaneous Generation. Although his greatest exploits were in microbiology and medicine, Louis Pasteur was actually a chemist, who held professorial chairs at both Strasbourg and Lille universities (in France). His works on Molecular Asymmetry enabled scientists understand the optical and crystallographic nature of various organic salts. His determination to explore beyond chemistry boundaries brought occasional criticisms from clinicians who were confounded by his daring experiments. He conceded by working alongside doctors, who oversaw that his procedures conformed to established norms and standards. Undeterred, Pasteur pioneered both rabies and anthrax vaccines. His versatility manifested in how easily he navigated between physical and biological sciences. But his clinical revolutions hugely overshadowed his lofty feats in chemistry, physics and geology. For instance, not many knew that he was the first to accurately explain isomerism and molecular chirality. In addition to publishing treatises and winning awards, Louis Pasteur mentored many students while serving as the Director of Scientific Studies at École Normale Supérieure, Paris. Alongside several scientific concepts, a Martian crater, a lunar crater, and an asteroid are named after him.


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